Times Quick Cryptic No 2193 by Teazel

Well, I’m delighted to say that this puzzle took me less than 7 minutes to complete, fully parsed.  One of my fastest ever times.  That is not to say that everyone will find it so quick to solve.  Based on recent blogging experiences, I sometimes underestimate a puzzle’s general difficulty.  Your comments will soon show whether or not I am out of kilter with the majority.

I did slow myself down very slightly by originally semi-biffing ESCAPEE for 3d and BLOSSOM for 15d, but these errors were quickly spotted, and the correct alternatives inserted.  For the second day consecutively, we have a piggy reference when the Setter isn’t Oink (12a), but for me at least, everything seemed to fall into place quite naturally.  How did you all do?


 What can hold together masseur and pop group? (6,4)

RUBBER BAND – RUBBER (masseur) and BAND (pop group).

7  Look at American soldier with cold reason (5)

LOGIC – LO (look) with GI (American soldier) and C{old}

8  Opening pub is very fine, but to no purpose (2,4)

IN VAIN – INN (pub) containing (opened by) V{ery} and A1 (fine).

10  Twitch seen regularly (3)

TIC – Alternate letters of TwItCh.  I think this is an &Lit, but if it isn’t, someone will put me right.

12  Greedy to rely on kid’s savings here (5,4)

PIGGY BANK – PIGGY (greedy) and BANK (to rely on).

13  Church room exceptionally entered by short street (6)

VESTRY – VERY (exceptionally) containing (entered by) ST{reet} (short).

14  Pathetic sailor caught in a stream (6)

ABJECT – AB (sailor – able bodied) and JET (stream) containing C{aught}.

17  With this lens, capture elephant (not ant!) in toto?(9)

TELEPHOTO – TOTO containing ELEPH{ant} (not ant!).

19  Flap as night flyer returns (3)

TAB – BAT (night flyer) reversed (returns).

20  Good man raised idea, half foolish (6)

STUPID – ST (saint – good man (or woman?)) UP (raised) and ID (half of Idea).

21  One heading for Arctic following sea channels (5)

MEDIA –  MED (sea – Mediterranean) followed by I (one) and A{rctic} (heading)

23  Landed – correct – then confined (10)

PROPERTIED – PROPER (correct) and then TIED (confined).


1  Trivial yet extraordinary subject of theory (10)

RELATIVITY – Anagram (extraordinary) of [TRIVIAL YET], referring, of course, to Einstein’s two theories – the special (1905) and the general (1915).  My out-and-out hero physicist, with whom I was happy (unknowingly) to share this world for a few short years!  I like to think that I almost certainly breathed some of the air that he breathed.

Large rock overturned (3)

BIG – GIB{raltar} (rock) reversed (overturned).

3  Key copier, one getting away? (7)

ESCAPER – ESC{ape} (key – one on a keyboard) and APER (copier).

4  Groom partner to keep going finally in tricky game (6)

BRIDGE – BRIDE (partner to the groom, or groom partner) containing (keeping) {goin}G (finally).  I can personally attest to the fact that BRIDGE is tricky.

5  Labourer against entering one of the armed forces (5)

NAVVY – V (against) inside NAVY (not just one of the armed forces, surely – the Senior Service).

6  Bundle of tissue in giant elm tangled (8)

LIGAMENT – Anagram (tangle) of [GIANT ELM].

A platform for rolling fish on table (10)

SKATEBOARD – SKATE (fish) on BOARD (table).  COD for the definition.

11  Make random selection from actors, great numbers (4,4)

CAST LOTS – CAST (actors) and LOTS (great numbers).

15  One made from flour, or flower (7)

BLOOMER – Double definition – the first referring to the BLOOMER loaf.

16  Raise an attempted robbery (4,2)

HOLD UP – Double definition.

18  Harmless sort of tiger may be decorative on the wall (5)

PAPER – Double definition.  A paper tiger is someone apparently important and powerful, but who isn’t really, i.e. they are harmless.

22  Welshman losing footing on platform (3)

DAI – DAI{s} (platform, losing footing)

70 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2193 by Teazel”

  1. No problems. I don’t think I bothered to read the whole clue at 4d, and only now noticed ‘tricky’; bridge, of course, is a game where one takes tricks. 5:04.

  2. All but three done in 7 minutes, and then ground to a halt in the SE corner. Eventually managed to assemble ABJECT, which reminded me that a BLOOMER is a type of loaf. And then nothing on the last clue 23a, despite having all the crossers. Eventually gave up and cheated, for a technical DNF in 13:29, or – as I learned yesterday – 2.6K.

  3. 6:16 for me. I was hoping to be under 6 minutes but spent too long seeing LIGAMENT from the anagrist.

  4. Ugh I deleted my comment accidentally

    Basically I finished but only because I had to guess the SE corner through checkers and wordplay. The rest went in umder ten minutes.

    I nho Navvy, the name Dai, bloomer loaf or the short words Gib and Med for their respective longer names

    Also amused that flower actually meant 🌸 today.

    1. Navvy for labourer comes from the (mostly) Irish labourers who built the UK canal system by hand. Canals were referred to as ‘navigations’, and the people who built them as ‘navigators’, shortened to NAVVY.

      Your other NHOs are all fairly common general knowledge in the UK at least, and all worth remembering. Well done on getting through though.

      1. A couple of miles from me, the Navigation (always referred to locally as ‘The Navvy’) is just across the road from the Bridgewater Canal.

  5. I found this a little more tricky than our blogger and scraped home within my target 10 minutes only by a whisker.

    Since I parse everything as I solve I was aware that I lost time wondering why HOLD-UP would be defined as only an attempted robbery. Also wondering about the enumeration (4,2) not (4-2) which I think makes ‘raise’ the definition and ‘attempted robbery’ a cryptic nudge rather than a second definition.

  6. 6.37

    No problems. PROPERTIED held me up a bit at the end

    BRIDGE was good. Used to play with a very good partner. When there were three cards left he knew what everyone had. I was lucky if I could still remember what trumps were.

    Thanks Rotter and Teazel

    1. My father was an excellent bridge player and was known to remark when one of the erratic players would leave the room when dummy, “well at least this’ll be the first time he will know what he has in his hand”.
      Always made me laugh.

  7. Finished all green under 9 having only got four on the first pass of acrosses with a long hold up at the end for PROPERTIED where I was totally on the fishing meaning of landed. I wondered about the ‘attempted’ bit of the HOLD UP clue too. Enjoyed SKATEBOARD and the PDM for PROPERTIED.

  8. Some fast times here and I join in with a finish in just under 9 minutes, all parsed. Only one (self-inflicted) hold-up – yes I put a hyphen in that too – as I also tried Escapee for Escaper at first. But it didn’t parse (one red flag) and then didn’t fit with Vestry (second red flag) so I looked again and then finally saw copier=aper. Memo to self – if your first guess won’t parse it probably isn’t correct …

    Many thanks to Rotter for the blog.

  9. 15 minutes.
    LOI and favourite: MEDIA.
    I liked the definition of BRIDGE as tonight is my fifth visit to the local bridge club, a game I’m in the process of trying to understand particularly the bidding system. In my opinion, tricky in more than one sense.

  10. An entertaining jaunt today despite joining he ESCAPEES. Held up by carelessly biffing NAAFI at 5d making IN VAIN a challenge. Started with the 1s and finished with PROPERTIED in 7.33 but with BIG unparsed and COD to the pleasingly simple TIC.
    Thanks to Rotter

  11. Top left to bottom right but ending with a long trawl for PROPERTIED. My dependence on first letters shown up once again. I read on here once that when doing a trawl one should start at M but I’ve forgotten the reasoning (and anyway I only ever remember this advice after I’ve started at A and eventually discovered that the relevant letter was in the second half).

    FOI RUBBER BAND, LOI PROPERTIED, COD BRIDGE (really liked that), time 06:59 (phew) for 1.4K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Rotter and Teazel.


  12. As above. Struggled yesterday and today but got there in the end.
    Rotten times in both cases but not accurate due to other factors causing interruptions.
    Thanks all.

  13. A much smoother solve than yesterday but I experienced similar hold-ups to others, especially at the end in the SE quadrant.
    Under 13 mins so within target, all parsed. I enjoyed this (apart from my LOI PROPERTIED which I didn’t like but which had to be). I join Rotter in appreciating SKATEBOARD -my COD, too.
    Some very good clues. I will now go through the blog to enjoy them at leisure. Thanks to Teazel and Rotter. John M.

  14. 9 minutes including time getting LOI PROPERTIED which I thought was clearly the hardest clue.
    Not everything parsed but the answers seemed clear.
    A nice puzzle and congratulations to Rotter on a great time.

  15. 1417 Avignon Pope Benedict XIII is deposed, bringing to an end the Great Western Schism

    14:17 thanks to a fair few minutes for LOI PROPERTIED, classic PDM when my alphabet trawl hit “p”. Interesting comment about starting the trawl at “M”. I start my Christmas cards from the back of the address book in alternating years, so that the Williams and Vincents don’t get weak efforts and a perfunctory “Merry Christmas from us all”

    This is an ugly looking grid with a B2 bomber in each corner.

    I’ve blogged before about holding the line on using ESCAPER rather than ESCAPEE. There aren’t many case markers in English, and this accusative ending is handy in employee/er and interviewer/ee. I even find myself using “mentee” for one who is mentored.


    1. I have never liked the word “mentee” for one who is mentored, since it implies the existence of the non existent verb “to ment”, and for years at work waged an unsuccessful rearguard action to use Telemachus in place of “mentee”.

      1. “Aviate” is a back formation from “aviator”, I’m all for “ment” as a new verb.

      2. There was an episode of Seinfeld, the U.S. sitcom, featuring several “mentors” and their “proteges”.

    2. Surely the B2 bomber is only in 2 of the corners – it could have been twice as ugly!

  16. I hadn’t noticed until Merlin pointed it out, it is an unusual looking grid in the ne and sw corners isn’t it.
    Teazel was easy going on us today, and there are some smart times. I was well inside target at 6.12 with FOI 1ac RUBBERBAND and LOI 23ac PROPERTIED which sent my solve time over the 6 minute mark.
    Well done to The Rotter on his fast time.

  17. Would have been quicker had the biffed ESCAPEE not made my LOI VESTRY harder than it needed to be. Not unduly held up though, but I would have dipped under 3:30.

    A neat and well clued puzzle, even if at the straightforward end of the spectrum.

    PIGGY BANK my favourite.


  18. I couldn’t finish this one. 21a and 22d stumped me. I wish they wouldn’t use obscure personal names in clues/answers.

    I initially put ESCAPEE for 3D, but soon come to see my error when I wanted to put VESTRY in 12a. SKATEBOARD came to me when I saw a young teen go past my house on his skateboard (thanks for the inspiration, kid 🤣).

    I also needed help with 22a. I had the wrong interpretation of landed in mind.

    Aside from the fact I could not finish this one, I did enjoy it.

    1. Dai–a name I would have thought obscure until coming here–is the crossword Welsh counterpart to Ian for Scots; you’ll see it again soon enough. (Sian for Welsh women.)

  19. I was going well (for me) right up until my LOI, which was PROPERTIED. I had all the checkers by then, of course, but it still took a full 10 minutes to come to mind. Long alphabet trawls really take the edge off otherwise enjoyable puzzles, I find. I usually take around 7-8 minutes to read and have a bit of a go at every clue, and my first pass today resulted in only 5 entries into the grid. Fortunately, several of my second attempts were more productive and I grew more confident … until I reached my LOI, that is. Total time = 35 minutes.

    Mrs Random is visiting her parents again today, so I am in temporary custody of the family point. – until she returns, at least.

    Many thanks to Teazel and Rotter.

  20. Ah, finished today pretty quickly, though had to think in SE corner. Once I got PROPERTIED and MEDIA (good clue), BLOOMER and the equally clever ABJECT sprang to mind. FOsI RUBBER BAND/RELATIVITY.
    Thanks vm, Rotter. I thought this amusing puzzle was the right level today, but then I guess we always think that about the ones we can do.

  21. Please don’t put answers in your preamble. I look here when I get stuck. I don’t need to know a clue I haven’t tried yet. Thank you.

    1. Reckon it is best not to come here until you have finished. Sometimes (not often these days, of course!) I am obliged to look for inspiration in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary or if desperate I reveal one word in the on-line version.
      Good luck!

    2. Sorry to have ruined your day, but if you look carefully, you’ll see that I have revealed no answers in my preamble. I revealed two wrong answers, albeit with one of them only wrong by one letter.

  22. Entertaining puzzle. 23a held out for quite a while! Both my major hobbies get a mention today at 17a and 15d. The NW and SW went in pretty easily and then I had to work harder despite having 9d and 12a to start with.
    FOI 1a Rubber Band
    LOI 23a Propertied
    COD the amusing 11d Cast Lots
    Thx to Rotter and Teasel

  23. 9:31. Only my second time under 10 minutes, the stars must be suitably aligned. Needed to come here to see Gibraltar reference, bloomer as loaf and bridge as having tricks. COD to ABJECT.

      1. Any and all positive feedback gratefully welcomed. Comparing my sub-10 minutes to Usain Bolt’s sub-10 seconds is pretty funny-but- I like it!

  24. 45mins total over 4 attempts for a DNF – put ABsEnT instead of ABJECT on my last block. You get too worn down to parse it by then.

    Was a slow starter with only 5 answers on my first parse and at 15-mins wasn’t getting far but then SKATEBOARD went in and I worked my way anti-clockwise from there. Enjoyed RUBBER-BAND. Along the way struggled to parse ESCAPER and STUPID but when the crickets sound had time to go back and understand.

    Had 1st break at 25-mins with 5 left towards the SE. Another 10-min attempt with crickets. I thought of PAPER during the washing up and another 4 min attempt ensued before heading to the park for a run and a coffee. Final six mins finally unlocked BLOOMER (had thought it might be an anagram of “flour-or”, which led to the mistaken ABSENT. Gave me MEDIA (I’d thought Red Sea but could see an answer off that) and then PROPERTIED was LOI – I knew it was likely to be to do with land owning but couldn’t solve without the checkers.

    Thanks to Rotter and Teazel 🙂

    1. It seems like whenever everyone has super fast times mine are super slow!
      Maybe it’s because I’m in Canada and there is lots of GK known by those on that side of the pond, but not by me.
      eg: BLOOMER (loaf), DAI, NAVVY and GIB.

      It was 38+++++ minutes for me, in one sitting, and a DNF ( I also had ABSENT).

      1. I can empathise with your lack of GK after Tuesday threw up a bunch of NHO incl. expectorant, panatella, valpolicella.

        I’m usually very good at a wide range of GK with food&drink being my major exception, geography also not strong. I’m often surprised by the stuff other people say they don’t know on here.

        Anyway, Canzim, I’m always here to boost the times of others!

  25. I’ve just seen that mohn completed this in 01:25.


    I’m going to do a little experiment. I’ve done this puzzle already so I know the answers. I’m going to reopen the puzzle and type them in as fast as I can go. Will report back shortly.

    1. It took me 01:56. That’s literally glancing at about half the clues just to remind myself what they were, and not even reading the rest because I could remember the answer. A couple of fat finger corrections, but cost a few seconds at best. On a PC keyboard.

      Mohn is NOT a neutrino, he’s a genuine reference solver on the Snitch. Guy’s not human. I just do not understand how anyone could solve that fast.

      1. I watch Verlaine solve the QC on his YouTube channel and he reads the clues out loud, parses/explains them verbally and is typing on a Dvorak keyboard that he’s not quite comfortable with and therefore makes typos

        And he often does them in 2 and a half minutes

        So I one hundred percent believe that there is a person out there who can just speed through them

        Not many people, but at least one!

        1. I’m not doubting Mohn, as I thought my post made clear. I know he’s not a neutrino (and I said that).

          I’m just marvelling at him.

          1. Mohn and other solvers are indeed remarkable, but perhaps we need someone to come up with an equivalent Snitch that measures the enjoyment factor. Any takers?

            1. Well, as long as we finish over a simple bread and cheese lunch, working together, we feel very content.

      2. I did a similar exercise a few months ago, filling in a crossword again on a previously taken photocopy having completed the original a little earlier. As I am a paper solver my time was even slower than your 1.56. If memory serves me, I think it was 3.14 in my case. I read each clue as I done originally, and allowed 2 seconds solving time for each clue before writing the (known) answer in. My fastest recorded time is 4.24 so not a huge timescale in which I can improve.
        I like Jacks later suggestion that there should be a way of measuring the enjoyment factor. I think in my case, the most satisfying solutions are not necessarily those that I complete in the quickest time, but those that stretch me, and that I feel I did well to even finish

      3. FWIW When I used to do the Concise/Quick crossword of a certain newspaper (12×12 grid) I think I once managed a time somewhere in the 2:20-30 region.

        Certainly to do the QC in that sort of time seems incredible.

  26. Quite a gentle offering from Teazel, I thought. readily solved without too many hold ups.

  27. Rubber & bridge.
    Piggy bank today, pig yesterday. Oink must be using noms de plume or his USP is being stolen!

  28. ‘Hey y’all, prepare yourself for the RUBBER BAND man’ (Detroit Spinners). It wasn’t much of a stretch to snap my way through this one, but it was very nicely clued – thanks Teazel and Rotter.

    TIME 3:25

  29. Well, in contrast to the majority, I found this rather tricky and it was a very slow 30 mins for me today. MEDIA, PROPERTIED and BLOOMER (I know!) were major PDMs, and the NE corner wasn’t helped by initially biffing ‘petty cash’ for PIGGY BANK. Just not on Teazel’s wavelength, but pleased to have battled on. COD to ABJECT. Many thanks to Rotter.

  30. Always like to do the QC’s in slightly unusual circumstances and today I’m at the Great British Beer Festival in London having a break at one of the tables.

    Unfortunately, it was a dnf (nothing to do with the ale), as I just couldn’t see 23ac “Propertied” – annoying as I had the rest after 15 mins.

    FOI – 1ac “Rubber Band” (not “sticky tape” then)
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 1ac “Rubber Band”

    Thanks as usual! (Hic)

  31. I’m another who had to write out the anagrist before I saw LIGAMENT, but otherwise no problems. I liked the juxtaposition of RUBBER and BRIDGE and the combo answer STUPID MEDIA. COD to BLOOMER. Thanks Teazel and Rotter and well done on a near fastest time. 4:37 for me.

  32. Against the general run I found this really difficult and needed much use of aids.
    8a. ‘Opening’ suggested first letters but couldn’t make any sense.
    23a. Misled by ‘landed’ (birds, planes etc.) Have heard of landed gentry but not propertied ones.
    2d. Though BIG should be answer but couldn’t think what kind of rocky material was called GIB so went for MEG as in MEGA from GEM.
    3D. Kept thinking of music keys instead of computers.
    Oh well! Tomorrow is another day.

  33. 5:05 this morning, with a minute at the end staring at LOI and COD 23 ac
    ” propertied” until I realised what “landed” was about.
    Otherwise a very fair and nicely clued puzzle with few 16 d’s.
    Thanks to Teazel and to Rotter for the blog.

  34. All good apart from the SE corner where I was left with 14ac, 15dn, 21ac and 23ac. Eventually thought of ABJECT which opened up all the rest, although it took me a little while to parse it. Several parsed post-solve and never managed to parse STUPID at all (thus proving a point!). 17 minutes in all.

    COD – 12 ac PIGGY BANK

    Thanks to Rotter and Teazel

  35. Rotter- I do hope you breathed Einstein’s air. Though he also may have breathed that of Hitler and Karl Marx as apparently they all lived in Vienna at the same time. Now that would have been a dinner party.
    DNF. Propertied beat me. J

  36. With the greatest respect to you all boasting you completed this in 7 minutes or so, I just don’t get how it is possible. It doesn’t allow for any ‘thinking’ time! I found some of these clues confusing, although I did finish it, eventually! I enjoyed it too…methinks I am just out of practice!!! Well done everyone else!!!!

Comments are closed.